Harlequin macaw is a hybrid parrot bred in captivity by mixing the green-winged macaw with the blue and gold macaw. It is known scientifically as Ara chloropterus x Ara ararauna. Harlequin macaws are vividly colored, taking cues from both its parents and can be an excellent choice for a pet owing to its pleasant disposition.
|Description||Color: A Harlequin with green-winged fathers have an orange breast color while those with blue and gold fathers have a more reddish orange breast.
Males and females look alike
Size: Up to 34inches (86 cm)
Weight: 1.9-3.3 lbs (0.86-1.50 kg)
|Sounds & calls||Screeching calls like most macaws, good talking ability|
|Breeding age||3 years|
|Clutch size||Up to 3 eggs|
|Incubation period||26-28 days|
|Lifespan||Up to 80 years|
Harlequin macaws inherit a jovial and friendly nature from their parents. Hand-raised birds can become a truly inseparable member of the family, even more so because of their long lifespan.
Arrange for a cage with dimensions of at least 5x5x8 feet. Place a parrot perch in there as this bird spends most of its day on it. If affordable then also put in a playpen. Let your pet out of the cage for a few hours a day.
The ideal temperature for a harlequin macaw is around 86°F (30°C). Make sure that the bird is kept in a draft-free environment.
Temperament & Personality
The word ‘harlequin’ means a joker or a jester and that is exactly what this bird is. Hand-rearing a baby harlequin and socializing it with lots of people can make it accepting of human contact. They are rather intelligent and thus need to be interacted with by its owner on a daily basis, or else boredom will set in, leading to destructive and self-mutilating behavior. They are also trainable and can be taught to do tricks, and indeed mimic human speech and other sounds that it hears.
Like all macaws, however, each harlequin will have its own personality. Some may get cranky at times, and the owners need to be very cautious about it as they have powerful beaks which are capable of inflicting painful damage.
Provide your harlequin with a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, pellets, seeds and spray millets.
Clean the cage once every two months. Replace the food and water dishes every day with fresh ones. Provide your pet with a birdbath so it can bathe itself or you can use a mist spray as well. Clipping the primary feathers is a good idea to ensure you don’t lose your harlequin through an open window. The beak and nails also need to be clipped from time to time.
The harlequin macaw, despite its hybrid origins, is a tough bird. It may suffer from a few illnesses, though:
- Viral, fungal and bacterial infections
- Proventricular Dilation Disease
- Juveniles sometimes chew feathers of flight and the tail
- Feather picking
- Kidney disease
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Lipomas (only in aged birds)
A well-rounded diet, sufficient enrichment, and proper care can keep most of the above complications at bay. If they do come up despite your best efforts, take your bird to a vet as soon as you spot the following symptoms:
- Droopy wings
- Ruffled plumage
- Mood changes
- Watery or partially closed eyes
- Labored breathing
- Lack of appetite
- Bulges in feathering
Harlequin macaws can cost around $1,500-$2,500. They are one of the most readily available of the hybrid macaws.
- Because of their physical similarity, it can sometimes be difficult to tell a harlequin macaw apart from a Catalina macaw. The blue and gold macaw is one of the parents to both these hybrids.
- Harlequin macaws are bred with other macaws, both purebreds and hybrids, to produce second generation hybrid macaws.
Harlequin macaw video